(Image source: Wikimedia Commons / National
Cancer Institute) BY ELIZABETH HAGEDORN Women who walk at least one hour a day can
lower their risk of breast cancer. That’s according to a new study from the American
Cancer Society. Over 17 years, researchers monitored the physical activity of more than
70,000 postmenopausal women. (Via CBS) Those who walked at least seven hours a week
— even if it were their only form of exercise — had a 14 percent lower risk. Women who
engaged in more vigorous activity lowered their risk even more — they were 25 percent
less likely to get breast cancer. (Via NBC, WNBC) Encouraging news for women who aren’t up for
hitting the gym. As one of the researchers put it: “The nice message here is, you don’t
have to go out and run a marathon to lower your breast cancer risk.” (Via HealthDay) Increased exposure to estrogen can up a person’s
risk of breast cancer. Estrogen, of course, is the hormone that promotes cancer cell growth.
A medical expert explains to CBC what walking has to do it. “Exercise increases blood flow everywhere.
With breast cancer you’re losing fat, therefore you’re losing estrogen.” Current federal guidelines suggest adults
get 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week, but fewer
than half of Americans get that much in and a third don’t exercise at all. (Via CDC) The researchers say factors like weight, the
amount of time spent sitting and the use of hormone replacement therapy didn’t appear
to have an effect on whether a woman developed breast cancer.